Jackson Diehl’s Settlement Delusion

Weeks after an awful October 18 column in the Washington Post which argued that it was President Barack Obama’s fault that the “peace process” is faltering because “insisting on an Israeli freeze” created a “near-insuperable obstacle to the peace process,” neoconservative Jackson Diehl is at it again.  This time, he penned a column that similarly claimed that it was “Obama who first turned the settlement issue from a minor to a major one.”

The settlement issue is a minor one?

Is it minor that the matrix of Israeli settlements controls 42 percent of the land in the occupied West Bank, land that is supposedly meant for a future Palestinian state?

Is it minor that Israel steals land from Palestinians to build settlements and confiscates more land to build a separation barrier that, de facto, annexes some 60 settlements?

Is it minor that in occupied Hebron, hundreds of extremist Jewish settlers have been inserted into the heart of a city with a population of about 150,000 Palestinians and wreak terror and havoc on the Palestinian residents there, with the full support of the Israeli army?

Is it minor that raw sewage from settlements flood Palestinian areas and destroy crops and contaminate drinking water?

Is it minor that the International Court of Justice, in a 2004 advisory opinion on the separation barrier, declared that “settlements have been established in breach of international law”?

Only in a world where delusions about Israel/Palestine are routinely published in the one of the nation’s top newspapers are the settlements a “minor” issue.

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